To the Editor:
January 2021 is Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Iowans can celebrate a new state law aimed directly at prevention. Passed in June 2020, the law encourages Iowa hotels and motels to provide human trafficking prevention training to their employees. Effective January 2022, only Iowa hotels and motels that have provided this training are eligible to receive public funds for lodging, events or state-related functions.
Hotels and motels are a common venue for sex trafficking, so trained hotel/motel employees are better equipped to halt the crime of human slavery in Iowa. The law provides time this year for these businesses to train their employees. Iowa and seven other states have passed laws requiring human trafficking awareness training for lodging establishments. Local nonprofit groups, such as Attacking Trafficking, devoted advocacy efforts to move the bill into law.
This is one concrete way that you as a citizen can join the effort to stop human trafficking. Choose to give your business to hotel/motel facilities that have trained their employees to recognize and deal effectively with human trafficking. Look for certifications in lobbies. Ask when you call to reserve.
By strategically equipping citizens with information, we create a safer state.